Sunday, February 07, 2010

Mexican Girls Were Cheap And Plentiful

I knew this guy one time, hot shot surgeon. He was Chinese, well, kind of Chinese. One of his ancestors had come to California during the Gold Rush from Canton. The family lived for several generations in the San Joaquin Valley. In the old days, a Chinaman had a hard time getting a wife. Chinese girls were few, expensive and even those of poor provenance cost a lot of money. Getting a White girl wasn't easy and would be the same as committing suicide, in any case. The original old guy wanted to get married, so he got a Mexican girl. Worked out OK for him. Nobody seemed too offended.

As the family settled into California life, it became a family tradition. The girls married Chinese. The family got good money for them and valuable family alliances were made. The boys married Mexican girls. They were cheap and plentiful, hard workers and it didn't hurt to have family in the Mexican community.

So my friend grew up in Fresno. He spoke Spanish, English and Cantonese. He was an athlete, played the piano and a good student. Things had changed from the old days. He got a scholarship to UCLA and stayed on for Medical School. He was a very good surgeon. He's not so good anymore but still does it. Surgeons never quit while they're ahead. His Mexican wife is very nice and their three sons are the smartest Chinamen you'll ever meet and their wives the hardest workers.

He told me the story about his family early one morning. I had called him in for a surgery and it was too late to go home when he had finished. I always called him in if I could find an excuse to, no matter who was on call, or one of the duffers in his group and then called him to assist. Self preservation. Nobody wants a belly gone bad in their ICU in the middle of the night, if they can help it. He always came and never complained. He came by my office to shoot the breeze and get a cup of coffee. Tickled me. Everybody thought he was Chinese and he was 63/64ths Mexican. His sons are 123/124ths. When people see other people, they see what they want to see, in every detail. Every time. No matter what is really there. It makes me wonder sometimes if anybody ever sees what's really there, no matter what they're looking at.

1 comment:

cut and shoot said...

My ex-sisters in law all wanted gringo husbands because they said Mexican men were worthless. All they want to do is drink beer and screw other women.